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February may be the shortest month, but that's no reason it can't be the most exciting. Pack it full to the brim with ten wacky ideas for things to do...
1. Watch figure skating. Figure skating is a hell of a spectator sport, and with two international figure skating events coming up, February is the month to embrace it. The Four Continents Figure Skating Championships will run from 7th -12th February this year, in Colorado Springs Then, later this month, we have the World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Minsk, Belarus – starting 27th Feb. I just love that the internet makes watching these events accessible to all of us – regardless of where we live, or whether local television networks decide to broadcast it.
2007 European Champion ice dancers Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder perform a lift in exhibition
2. Feed the birds. February is national bird feeding month. Hang a bird feeder in your backyard, or grab some stale bread and head to your nearest duck pond.
3. February is also Black History Month. This annual event was created to promote awareness of African American history. In Australia, it is also a great prompt for us to learn more about our own history, beginning over 50,000 years ago with the First Australians. It's an exciting and eye-opening story. Homo sapiens were establishing art, culture and trade in Australia at a time when their European cousins were still competing (and breeding) with Neanderthals.
4. Eat ice-cream for breakfast. Some mad-hatter family in the US invented 'Eat Ice-Cream For Breakfast Day' – celebrated on the first Saturday of February – and it's been steadily growing in popularity ever since. Seems like there's a surprising number of people out there seeking an excuse to eat ice-cream for breakfast. If you're one of them, join in the fun on February 4th.
5. Get creative with modelling clay. 4th February is Gumby's Birthday. For those of you who haven't heard of Gumby, you're missing out. This loveable plasticine adventurer and his friends have been changing the face of animation since the 1950s. Join the fun by purchasing some green modelling clay and losing yourself in an imaginary world.
6. Take a bath. My all-time favourite relaxation activity is to luxuriate in a bathtub full of bubbles, accompanied by a glass of wine and a good book. Apparently, I'm not the only one – 9th Feb is 'Read in the Bathtub Day'. If you're stuck for something to read, try one of Charles Dickens' classics – he was born on 7th Feb 1812.
Three ducks in the tub
7. Buy yourself flowers. Too often, we wait for others to bring joy into our lives. Holidays like Valentine's Day on 14th Feb put unnecessary pressure on those of us in relationships, and make everyone else feel bad about their singledom. Sidestep the whole issue by bringing some joy into your own life.
8. Phone a friend. Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in February 1876. Honour his achievement by making contact with friends and family far away.
9. Make pancakes. Shrove Tuesday may have its origins in Catholicism and lent, but surely eating pancakes can be woven into almost any belief system. Let's unite in the consumption of fried batter, on Tuesday 21st Feb.
10. Take a leap. It's a leap year, which means February has a whole extra day. I wonder if those extra 24 hours will make it any easier to achieve our New Year's resolutions?